USSOcast is the official podcast of U.S Studies Online, where we publish interviews and roundtables with academics across American Studies, at all stages of their careers, as well as highlight previous events and material hosted elsewhere on USSO, in audio form. Dedicated to all things American studies, from creative writing through to American history and cultural studies, USSOcast highlights and champions the bright new research on American Studies happening globally.

If you would like to be involved with USSOcast, either to produce an episode, organise an event for it, or to simply be featured and discuss your research, then please email us and get in touch.

Episode 19 – ‘Meg Ryan Fall’ and the aesthetic appeal of Nora Ephron (w/ Naomi Sutton and Meg Walters)

In this episode, Sarah is joined by postgraduate researcher Naomi Sutton and culture writer Meg Walters to discuss the mass appeal of Nora Ephron films in the internet age. Naomi and Meg talk about the meaning we might find in the Ephron aesthetic, Ephron’s filmmaking practice, and their favourite Ephron films.

Naomi Sutton, ‘The Backlash in Love: Reclaiming Choice in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and ‘Meg Ryan Fall’’, USSO, 06/02/2023. Read here.

Meg Walters, ‘‘Meg Ryan Fall’ Is the Best Time of the Year. Of Course the Internet is Ruining It.’, The Daily Beast, 03/09/2022. Read here

Episode 18 – Representations of Masculinity in Late-20th Century Horror (w/ Lakkaya Palmer)

This week, Sarah chats to Lakkaya Palmer, a doctoral researcher in Film Studies at UCL, about Lakkaya’s research on masculinity in horror cinema from 1970-1991. Lakkaya discusses the changing role of the father in horror, differences between British and American horror films, and turns a critical eye to some of the classics.

Episode 17 – Narratives of America in Afghanistan (w/ Dr. Sharifullah Dorani)

This week, Sarah sits down with author and academic Sharifullah Dorani to discuss his new novel, The Lone Leopard (Bedford: S&M Publishing, 2022). Sharifullah talks candidly about his inspiration for the novel, the research process and the challenges for writers responding to contemporary events. You can read Sarah’s review of the novel here.


Episode 16 – Little Magazines and the Southern Renaissance (w/ Siân Round)

This week, Sarah and Robyn chat to our outgoing Book Reviews editor Siân Round, a PhD candidate in English at Cambridge University, about her research on little magazines, the Southern Renaissance, and conceptualising ‘the South’. Siân also discusses some of the things she has enjoyed during her time as Book Reviews editor, and tells us what she’s been reading lately.


Episode 15 – “Narratives of Small Town America” (w/ Dr. Will Carroll)

This week, Sarah chats to our outgoing editor Will Carroll, who has recently completed his PhD at University of Birmingham, about his research on the American small town in literature, art and photography in the early-mid twentieth century. Here, Will discusses how his research interests have evolved over the course of his studies, and touches on his post-PhD plans.


Episode 14 – “Making the Third Ghetto” (w/ Dr. Nicole M. Gipson)

This week, Will and Sarah talk to Dr. Nicole M. Gipson, an ECR scholar whose research posits the existence of a “third ghetto” in Washington D.C. in the 1970s and 1980s, in the form of the city’s emergency shelter system.  Here, Nicole talks about her upcoming peer-reviewed article ‘Making the Third Ghetto: Race, Gender, and Family Homelessness in Washington, D.C. 1977-1989’, and speaks more broadly about her experiences as an African American scholar working in the UK.


Episode 13 – Black Women Radicals and Critical Race Theory (w/ Tionne Parris)

This week, Will and Sarah talk to Tionne Parris, a PhD student at University of Hertfordshire whose research  is focused on American society’s response to race-based political protests and communism within black radical protests. Here, Tionne talks about Critical Race Theory and the role of online spaces in contemporary issues surrounding race in America.


Episode 12 – Black American Coming-of-Age Fiction (w/ Adam Dawson)

This week, Will and Sarah talk to Adam Dawson, who recently submitted his PhD in American Studies at University of East Anglia. Adam looks at Black American coming-of-age fiction, with an emphasis on YA literature. Here, Adam discusses his recent conference paper on Toni Morrison’s Jazz, his love for Colson Whitehead’s Sag Habour, and the weight that’s been lifted following his thesis submission.

Episode 11 – Civil War Memory and the Republican Party (w/ Tim Galsworthy)

This week, Will and Sarah chat to Tim Galsworthy, a PhD student in American History at the University of Sussex, whose research examines the role of Civil War memory in the historic and contemporary Republican Party. Tim was the recipient of the 2021 BAAS Peter Parish award, which enabled him to hire a research assistant at the Library of Congress. In this episode, Tim talks about this process and how it proved invaluable to his research.


Episode 10 – Contemporary American Literature and Neoliberal Financialization (w/ Carl White)

This week, Will chats to Carl White, a third-year PhD student at University of Leeds, whose work looks at neoliberalism and financialization in contemporary American literature. From Jennifer Egan to David Foster Wallace, Carl explores how post-70s American capitalism has flattened temporalities, manipulated social mores, and created narratologically innovative novels in American culture.

Episode 9 – Animals, Automobiles, and Road Narratives (w/ Daniel Bowman)

This week, Will speaks to third-year PhD researcher Daniel Bowman at University of Sheffield, whose work encompasses the relationship between animals and automotive culture in America. Looking at the great industrial shifts occurring at the peak of modernity, Bowman considers how the car reoriented national ideologies and altered the American relationship with the natural world.


Episode 8 – Polarization, Congressional Primaries, and Fake News (w/ Mike Cowburn)

This week, Will talks to Mike Cowburn, a political scientist at Freie Universität Berlin on his research into American voting habits. Mike looks at everything from bipartisanship, polarisation, ideological cleavages, and ‘Fake News’ in the social media age. He also discusses his new co-authored paper and what remote research has looked like for him in Berlin.


Episode 7 – U.S Women’s War Photography and Conflict Masculinities (w/ Georgia Vesma and Sarah Collier)

This week, Will chats to Georgia Vesma (University of Manchester) and Sarah Collier (University College London), two PhD students who are researching women photographers in Vietnam and issues of masculinity in the Iraq war, respectively.

They also share their honest thoughts and feelings about life during the pandemic, about obstacles they’ve had to overcome, and how managing our workloads is vital to staying healthy and happy.

Episode 6 – Age, Power and Narrative in Post-1970 America (w/ Danielle Cameron)

In this episode, Will chats to 2nd-year PhD student Danielle Cameron (University of East Anglia) about her research into age, power, and narrative in post-1970 American literature. Focusing on writers such as Colson Whitehead, Don DeLillo, Paul Auster, and Jennifer Egan, Danielle looks at how childhood, adulthood, and old age collide and come undone in the American city space.

Discussing her undergraduate research on ‘monstrous adolescents’ through to her MA research into children’s literature, Danielle also offers warm advice to new PhDs about how to stay on track and keep going.

Episode 5 – Los Angeles, Frontiers, and Neo-Noir (w/ Rob Fitt and Dr. Michael Docherty)

In this episode, Will chats to Rob Fitt (PhD in American History at University of Birmingham) and Dr. Michael Docherty) about their intersection research interests in Los Angeles, frontiers, American mythmaking, and all things in-between. They also share a bit about what life has been like researching during 2020.

*Please excuse any audio issues – remote recording during the current pandemic makes such errors inevitable!*


Episode 4 – Eyes on Events – PG BAAS 2020

In this episode, USSO’s events editor Emily Brady follows up on the great work being undertaken by Molly Becker and Jennifer dos Reis dos Santos as they gear up for launching the BAAS Postgraduate Conference 2020 on Saturday 28th November.

Episode 3 – Eyes on Events – Kent Americanist Symposium

In this episode, USSO’s events editor Emily Brady chats to Jack Dice about the upcoming Kent Americanist Symposium ‘The Spatial America’ taking place on Saturday 21st November. Find out about the history of this symposium series, and what to expect on the day, in this interview.


Episode 2 – Eyes on Events – IAAS Postgraduate Symposium:

In this episode, USSO’s events editor Emily Brady chats to Sarah McCreedy and Maria Manning about their upcoming postgraduate conference for the Irish Association of American Studies. Find out about the work they do, and conference details, here in audio form.

Episode 1 – New Work on the New York School (Interview w/ Dr. Rona Cran and Dr. Yasmine Shamma)

In this episode, USSO co-editor Will Carroll speaks to Dr. Rona Cran (University of Birmingham) and Dr. Yasmine Shamma (University of Reading) on their exciting new AHRC funded project: The New York School Studies Association. Bringing together creatives within and beyond academia, this new community promotes interdisciplinary research and performance whilst remaining as accessible and open as possible. Listen to this short interview to find out more about the upcoming project, a must for anyone working on American poetry.

We apologise for any issues with audio quality – given the current environment, in-person recording is not possible and remote recording is the safest option for all involved.

You can also find our podcast on Spotify.

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